Save the IT Sacred Cows or Grind Them Up?

A friend pointed me to EMC’s Chuck Hollis blog.

Chuck Hollis
VP -- Global Marketing CTO
EMC Corporation
Chuck has been with EMC for 13 years, most of them pretty good.
He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

One entry which caught my eye is A Tale of Two Companies where Chuck contrasts two companies approach to IT.

Company One.

My job was to speak a bit about what EMC was working on now, and what we saw in the next few years that could really help them get the job done.

I rose to the challenge, and spoke with passion about the transformative power of newer technology to reduce cost structures, remove friction from traditional IT and be more responsive to the business.

I pointed to how many companies were getting started with today's products and achieving amazing results, and could only look forward to more goodness as the technologies marched forward.

I offered up that now -- more than ever -- was the time to take a hard look at how they did IT, and start grinding up a few of those sacred cows and start making tasty hamburgers (so to speak).

I'm sure that I was able to win over a few covert converts in the audience, but the conversation ended up being much more of the same.

I wondered if they had the passion and the incentive to change how they did IT.  Because -- from the outside -- that's what it looked like needed to be done.

Company Two.

The team was much smaller.  Everyone had a defined role in the organization, but knew what the others on the team did, and had a bit of shared perspective perspective.

They were intensely passionate about virtualizing as much of their environment as they could, as quickly as they could.  They had already done a lot, but had a burning desire to do much more, and do it faster.

They had already started to rework their operations around virtualization and "just-in-time" IT.  They had created a "new gen" environment, and were experiencing mostly success as the business welcomed the ability to put things up quickly, and change as they went along.

Chuck asks a good question given this economic environment.

The real question for me is -- how many IT organizations will look at this as big opportunity to fundamentally change how they do business?

Not only virtualize the majority of their environment, but re-engineer for speed and flexibility?  And, rather than expending enormous effort on each and every application, give them all a decent starting point, and adjust things dynamically as things change?

You can break down companies into 2 categories, those that are trying how to save their sacred cows of IT and those that are ready to throw the sacred cows out and implement change.

Or if  you don’t like the sacred cow analogy, here is Chuck’s other point.

When it's cold outside, you can sit inside and shiver, or get busy and build a fire.